Despite Packers Struggles, Aaron Jones Continues to Shine
It has been a miserable month of October for the Green Bay Packers. The team has lost three straight games, including last week's 23-21 defeat to the Washington Commanders. Despite Green Bay's struggles on the field, Aaron Jones continues to make plays and show that he is one of the NFL's best all-purpose players.
Through seven games this season, Jones has 432 yards rushing and one touchdown. He is averaging 5.5 cards per carry and is only getting 11 rushing attempts per game. That is a ridiculously low volume of carries per game for a player of Jones's play making ability, and it could be a big reason why the Packers are just 3-4 this season. Showtyme has also caught 26 of his 33 targets from Aaron Rodgers for 176 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those three receiving scores happened last week against the Commanders.
When you watch those two highlights (especially the last score), it is easy to understand why Jones is Green Bay's top playmaker. However, most teams also know this and they game plan each week to shut down #33. The Packers also have bruising running back A.J. Dillon to form a nice 1-2 punch at the position, but the offensive line has struggled to open up holes for the running game.
The Packers will have their work cut out for them this weekend, when they play at Buffalo Sunday night. Unlike the Giants, Jets, and Commanders, the Bills are considered one of the best teams in the NFL and they are already 11 1/2 point favorites in the prime time matchup. Green Bay will need to play their best game of the season in order to have a chance to win in Buffalo. That game plan could include utilizing Jones more in the passing game.
Without Devante Adams, Rodgers lacks a true #1 wide receiver to throw to. Allen Lazard is leading the team with 26 receptions for 340 yards and four touchdowns, but he suffered a shoulder injury in the loss to Washington. Veteran Randall Cobb hurt his ankle and is on injured reserve, which leaves rookies like Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson as Green Bay's next best options. That is why head coach Matt LaFleur should give Jones more reps on Sunday and line him up as a receiver against the Bills. At this point, the veteran running back is the best option for Rodgers at receiver and he would make matchups more difficult for the Buffalo defense. It could also allow Dillon to thrive in the backfield.
Rodgers said earlier in the week that he's not worried about his team's 3-4 record and that the Packers can recover and still make the playoffs. If Jones becomes more of a focal point, then Green Bay will have its best chance to fulfill their star quarterback's prophecy.